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The Shoemaker’s Magician

A gripping story filled with ghosts, mystery, and history, this novel has many excellent entry points for a wide range of readers, but especially for those who enjoy creepy retellings of western folklore, as written by authors like Helen Oyeyemi, and books about occult movies, such as Experimental Film by Gemma Files.

No Gods For Drowning

Piper, a rising star in horror, is announcing her intentions to break through onto a larger stage with this confident and compelling tale that is as fun as it is thought-provoking. Suggest it widely.

The 86th Village

The debut is a powerful indictment of graft and corruption, as well as a comparison of poverty and wealth in that country. However, it’s difficult to describe this atmospheric novel as crime fiction, except for the corruption.

The Red Canoe

Similar to David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s Winter Counts, Johnson’s (“Paul Two Persons Mysteries” series) novel is a powerful story of Indigenous people who are abused but also determined to battle brutality and corruption themselves when they can’t rely on the authorities.

The Hitman’s Daughter

This fast-paced haunting novel of survival will appeal to fans of new adult fiction.

Arya Winters and the Tiramisu of Death

In this mystery best compared to The Addams Family, anxious Arya is an intriguing narrator who admits to her faults. With all its sex, discussion of sex, and naked bodies, this is not a cozy mystery, despite the blurbs.

Children of Chicago

With superior worldbuilding, a relentless pace, a complex heroine, and a harrowing story that preys off of current events as much as its well-developed monster, this is a stellar horror novel that fires on all cylinders, from the first page through to its horrible conclusion. For fans of dark fantasy based on fairy tales such as Seanan McGuire’s “Wayward Children” series or novels by Helen Oyeyemi, with just the right touch of Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski.


Stallings’s (Young Americans) challenging must-read for police procedural fans reflects today’s society. Forced to ask questions about bias, intellectual disability, police actions, and redemption, Niels stands in contrast to cops who resort to violence.

The Ninja’s Blade

Lily and the secondary characters are rich and complicated, and details about martial arts and Chinese culture add depth to the story. While it isn’t necessary to have read the previous book in the series to enjoy this one, readers won’t understand the extent of Lily’s emotional conflict without that context. This series continues to impress and should find a wide, appreciative audience.

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